Association Issues Statement of Support for Online Pharmacy Safety Act of 2011
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) has documented thousands of fake online pharmacies that endanger the lives of unsuspecting American consumers by distributing counterfeit, adulterated, and substandard drug products, often without requiring a valid prescription. By implementing safeguards, such as a federal registry that would assist consumers in identifying safe Internet pharmacies, The Online Pharmacy Safety Act of 2011 (SB 2002), would help to protect the public health, and NABP has issued a letter expressing the Association’s strong support of the legislation.
Describing the thorough accreditation process of the NABP Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesCM (VIPPS®) and Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesCM (Vet-VIPPS®) programs, the letter to the bill’s sponsors, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), indicates the Association’s strong support for the reference to these accreditation programs in the Online Pharmacy Safety Act. Recognized as the gold standard of accreditation for Internet pharmacies, VIPPS and Vet-VIPPS are recommended to consumers by Food and Drug Administration, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP).
“In researching the vast number and characteristics of illegal drug outlets in operation, NABP has found that of the 8,789 sites reviewed, 96%, or 8,456, are operating out of compliance with state and federal laws and/or NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards,” indicates NABP President Malcolm J. Broussard, RPh. “To inform regulators, health care providers, and law enforcement of the latest data on the sites included in the NABP Not Recommended list, NABP continues to provide quarterly reports of the Association’s Internet Drug Outlet Identification program,” states Broussard.
The NABP Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: January 2012 (PDF), is available for download from the NABP Web site.
NABP also provides the Not Recommended list and the lists of VIPPS and Vet-VIPPS -accredited Internet pharmacies through the NABP consumer Web site, www.AWARErx.org. The AWARXE® Web site provides patient-focused information about the dangers of counterfeit medicines and tips on how to select an online pharmacy from which to safely buy medicine.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and ASOP also issued letters of support for the legislation. NACDS emphasized in its statement that the legislation takes important steps “to protect the American public from unscrupulous Internet drug sellers that prey on unsuspecting Americans by posing as legitimate pharmacies while deceptively selling counterfeit, adulterated or misbranded medicines.” And ASOP stated that the “bill takes a critical first step to update and enhance U.S. law to protect patients from the growing number of illegitimate and unsafe online drug sellers that prey on consumers,” and that the bill would help to “ensure access to safe and law-abiding online pharmacies.”
NABP commends Senator Feinstein and Senator Sessions for their commitment and determination in protecting the health and welfare of United States consumers by addressing this important issue through the introduction of the Online Pharmacy Safety Act.
NABP is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its member boards and jurisdictions in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of protecting the public health.